“And He Did Overthrow Many Cities and He Did Slay Both Women and Children”

Brant Gardner

Cultural: Again we have the combat between opposing leaders. In such occasions, it was typically assumed that once the leader was vanquished, the battle was over. In this case, the battle might have ended, but Moroni pushes the events to their eventual end by having Shiz enter the fray immediately. Whether in the same battle, or whether Shiz regathers for his attack, the result is the same. Shiz is now the assailant who is pushing Coriantumr.

Redaction: As noted above, this reference to the killing of women and children has parallels to the events that Moroni lived through at the end of the Nephites, and the presence of this information in the record of the Jaredites might be due to Moroni’s literary parallelism that he has introduced into the account.

Ether 14:18

18  And there went a fear of Shiz throughout all the land; yea, a cry went forth throughout the land—Who can stand before the army of Shiz?  Behold, he sweepeth the earth before him!

Redaction: The success of any military leader might have this same effect upon the local populations. In this case, however, he is fighting with basically the same forces against the same forces. The difference appears to be the type of warfare that is being waged. This addition of a new and terrifying mode of warfare is precisely the same phenomenon that we saw at the end of the Nephite nation when a Nephite army that was seasoned in battle and victorious in their last confrontation with the Lamanites simply turn tail and run when they see the Gadianton-reinforced army in front of them (Mormon 2:3 and following commentary). Once again we have such a direct parallelism that it may be more related to literary form than actual history, although the underlying history of the confrontation was surely accurate.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon